The Blake Census was the work of Francis Xavier Blake, the Parish priest in Moycullen between 1792 and 1825. Now in the diocesan archives, the original census is unfortunately not available for public viewing.
fr. blake’s census explanatory notes
- List commences with Christmas of the year 1793.
- It comprehends the name of every married man then residing in the parish.
- It also includes the name of every unmarried man having a separate dwelling whether bachelor or widower.
- It comprehends every person of that description who have come to reside in the parish since the above-mentioned period and the particular time of their coming is distinguished by a special mark.
- Every newly married man is put on the list and the time of his marriage is known by a particular mark.
- A particular mark points out the time that any person entered on the list, removes from the parish, dies or becomes a widower.
- Yearly dues by the provincial statute are 2s. 2d., by custom in this parish, which I have not changed, 1s. 7½d.
- Every married man, widower, or bachelor having a dwelling and able to pay are by order of the Ordinary subject to pay: married people only are used to pay.
Various marks were used by Fr. Blake. One of these indicated a days work of a mower, thatcher, mason or suchlike, valued at one shilling; other marks represent a labourer at 6d. or a horse at 6d. per day.
letters of abbreviation used by Fr. Blake and copied in the register are:-
- M. Married
- D. Died
- W. Widowed
- R. Removed from Parish
- C. Changed habitation within the parish
- N. Newly resident
- P. Poor man, no dues but an occasional day’s work
There are other marks also e.g. O. indicating that confessions were heard at that house
All recorded surnames are as spelled in the record. If you are trying to find connections to your family, all entries should be thoroughly checked. The Townlands and/or areas used old times spellings, so may not look familiar. Some of the original records are not in good condition and some are very difficult to read.